Our lives are filled with events and experiences. Some of these bring us happiness and some sadness. There are periods of great turmoil, cycles of success, cycles of failure, periods of illness, periods of great vitality and excitement. Then there are events of great joy such as birth of a child or realization of a life long cherished dream. There are also dreams, which never get realized in our lifetime. We are tossed up and down in this sea of mundane existence. Yet the Buddha, who witnesses these same events, has a serene and beatific smile on his face at all times. Why is this so?
In a Buddha, the ego is completely annihilated. This false identity, the ego fools you into thinking that you are this fragile and puny body or the ever-oscillating monkey mind. The ego exaggerates the events in our life.
If your husband or child dies or if a life-threatening disease like Cancer inflicts you, this event becomes the prism through which you view everything else in your life. Are we just a parent or a spouse or this body with a certain health condition? But ego likes to keep us small and loves to bind ourselves to misery. The truth is there are infinite aspects to our life and our real nature.
The Buddha lives in the here and now. You can live in London, Paris or Coimbatore. But all your life, the past and the future, happen in the ever present, the here and now. Our minds often take us either to past miseries or future glories, negating the most significant miraculous gift- here and now.
The Buddha smiles because the possibilities and the beauty that the present moment holds thrill her. She tears up on the sight of a beautiful flower or the smile of a child. She is totally present to enjoy the glory of the present moment. Her lesson teaches us to be present in the here and now.
The Buddha lets go and doesn’t attach to anything. The Buddha knows that everything is impermanent. He knows that his children, wife, success, and social status will one day no longer exist. All things that have a form must die and wither away.
This knowledge is deeply rooted in him and therefore, he doesn’t suffer. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t strive to achieve in life or that he doesn’t marry or have kids. He is detached towards all things and situations and can handle whatever comes his way in life with grace.
The Buddha does her work with great joy and lightness. There is no stress or tension involved. She does the best she can at each moment, holding the attention to only that moment. She is never in a hurry and is poised and relaxed in her actions. She is not greatly attached to the result of her actions.
When you see a Buddha working, you will find that she dissolves into her work and is completely one with it. There is ease, grace and lightness in each of her actions. The work fills her with pure bliss.
The Buddha loves one and all. But this love doesn’t come from what religion propounds or from a belief fed to him by his ancestors or community. He can perceive a connection with all that is.
To him oneness is a truth of his being. So he rejoices in the victory of others, as their victory is also his. He is saddened by their misfortunes. But his sadness is only because of his compassion to his fellow men.
He is saddened that they are not yet free like him. He strives to free all and is willing to go any length to serve others. He manifests God on earth through his unselfishness and pure love.
The Buddha faces death fearlessly. To the Buddha, the knowledge that she is mortal is never forgotten. Having meditated on her own death, she sees it merely as just another door she has to walk through. She sees it as a benediction and a great adventure she has yet to experience.
Death doesn’t make her tremble. She neither tries to avoid or seek it. As calm as she faced life, she faces death and walks into it through the door of love and pure awareness. Having conquered both death and life, she is eternally free.
So the Buddha smiles with power. It is a symbol which tells us that we can follow him. What is possible for one is possible for all, by regularly mediating on his smile and asking ourselves why he is smiling. Let the ever graceful and compassionate master guide us to the proper knowledge and light, and free us from the chains of darkness and ignorance which are mere illusions.
Peace be to all.
About the Author
Thanga Bhuvanesh. A doctoral student of science, my primary occupation is to understand myself and the amazing cosmos of which I am a part of. I want to share my insights and my inspirations with the world.
**This article was originally featured at: Collective Evolution.